SpaceX made history last week with the successful launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket, the largest rocket ship in existence today. The world watched and waited through multiple delays due to weather before the massive rocket finally ignited its 27 engines and lifted off. The Falcon Heavy then shed its two side boosters as planned, with both miraculously touching back down safely on the ground so they could be reused. Meanwhile, the center core continued up into space where it would release its payload, a cherry red Tesla Roadster being “driven” by a mannequin playfully named Spaceman.
The entire launch was incredible to watch, and it went almost perfectly according to plan, though the rocket’s center core would ultimately splash down in the ocean rather than landing safely on its target barge. The launch as a whole was impressive not just because of the spectacle or how smoothly it went, but also because many people thought the massive rocket was likely to explode on the launchpad. In fact, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk appeared to have his own doubts judging by new video footage that was released over the weekend.
Musk has never been one to shy away from a challenge, diving head-first into projects that most people would tuck tail and run from. Sometimes his bets and hard work pay off, and Tesla is obviously a prime example. Musk’s car company went up against not just traditional car companies but also Big Oil, forcing the entire industry to dramatically accelerate plans to adopt electric cars.
Tesla has quite literally changed the world, but Musk has no intention of confining his impact to Earth. As Tesla continues to reshape our lives on the ground, SpaceX has ambitious goals in outer space. The huge Falcon Heavy rocket will play an integral role in seeing those dreams realized and last week’s successful launch was years in the making.
Of course, it wasn’t just the public at large that was exciting to see the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket successfully power its way through Earth’s atmosphere and beyond. SpaceX employees went crazy as the rocket saw success after success during its journey, and you can rewatch the entire launch right here. There’s one person at SpaceX whose reaction wasn’t captured in that video, however: Musk.
While Musk wasn’t a big part of the video SpaceX was streaming during the Falcon Heavy launch, he obviously was a big part of the mission. And this past weekend, National Geographic got its hands on some footage of Musk’s reaction. In short, he was elated.
“Holy flying f–k, that thing took off,” Musk exclaimed as he watched the engines successfully light up and lift the monstrous rocket skyward. He and fellow staffers then ran outside of the building to watch the rocket barrel toward space. “Look at that! That’s unreal!” Musk exclaimed.